Stanford Peripheral Nerve Center

Welcome

Peripheral nerve injury care requires a wide range of skills to obtain the best functional outcomes. This care starts from the acute injury (nerve repair, graft or transfer) and may continue to later reconstructive surgeries (tendon/ muscle transfers). Chronic nerve injuries can result in prolonged pain. Careful diagnosis and treatment of the nerve problem can relieve the pain and allow patients to return to normal life.

Stanford's team of physicians provide cutting edge care at each stage of recovery restoring function and relieving pain. We work closely with a multidisciplinary group of specialists including therapists, pain specialists, neurologists and physiatrists to ensure complete and coordinated patient care. 

Our tradition of innovation and clinical excellence in the care of peripheral nerve injuries continues today as we develop new treatments in our labs and train the next generation of nerve surgeons. At Stanford Surgery, today’s discoveries are tomorrow’s therapies.

What is Peripheral Nerve Surgery?

Peripheral nerve surgery encompasses a specialized branch of surgical expertise dedicated to diagnosing and treating conditions affecting the intricate network of nerves outside the brain and spinal cord. These nerves, responsible for relaying messages between the brain and the rest of the body, play a vital role in sensation, movement, and coordination. Peripheral nerve surgery focuses on addressing various nerve-related disorders, including nerve injuries, compressions, tumors, and chronic neuropathic pain. With advanced surgical techniques and a deep understanding of nerve anatomy, peripheral nerve surgeons aim to restore function, alleviate pain, and improve the quality of life for their patients.

Who Is a Good Candidate for Nerve Surgery?

Individuals experiencing symptoms such as numbness, tingling, weakness, or chronic pain in their limbs or extremities may be suitable candidates for peripheral nerve surgery. Candidates may include those with nerve injuries resulting from trauma, repetitive stress, or conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome, cubital tunnel syndrome, or peripheral nerve tumors. Additionally, patients with neuropathic pain syndromes, such as complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) or nerve entrapment syndromes, may benefit from surgical intervention. A comprehensive evaluation by a skilled peripheral nerve surgeon is essential to determine candidacy, considering factors such as medical history, symptoms, diagnostic tests, and the potential benefits and risks of surgery.

How is the Procedure Performed?

Peripheral nerve surgery techniques vary depending on the specific condition being treated and the goals of the procedure. Surgical interventions may involve nerve repair, nerve grafting, nerve decompression, nerve transfers, or nerve reconstruction. During the procedure, the surgeon carefully accesses the affected nerve(s) through precise incisions, utilizing magnification and specialized instruments to navigate the intricate nerve pathways. Techniques such as microsurgery or endoscopic surgery may be employed to enhance precision and minimize tissue trauma. The surgeon then addresses the underlying issue, whether it involves repairing damaged nerves, releasing compressed nerves, or re-routing nerve pathways to restore function and alleviate symptoms. Following surgery, a personalized rehabilitation plan may be prescribed to optimize recovery and maximize functional outcomes.

Conditions We Treat

Make an Appointment

For appointments and to learn more about this option, please contact our Hand Clinic at (650) 723-5256

Physician Referrals

Referring physicans may fax referral form with supporting documentation to 650-320-9443.

Research

Our group has broad research interests in improving the lives of patients with nerve injury. We are working on clinical trials assessing techniques such as nerve transfers to improve hand function in people with spinal cord injury.  We are using big data to try and understand why some patients develop neuropathic pain after traumatic insults such as surgery.  We also have clinical trials assessing new medical devices for neuromas and novel medications to decrease neuroinflammation after surgery.  

Featured Papers

Stanford Peripheral Nerve Team

Johnson and Johnson Professor of Surgery
Professor of Surgery (Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery) and, by courtesy, of Orthopaedic Surgery
Associate Professor of Surgery (Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery)
Clinical Associate Professor, Surgery - Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery
Clinical Assistant Professor, Orthopaedic Surgery

Featured Videos

Latest News

Dr. Vincent Hentz discusses hand reconstruction after spinal cord injury

1/1/24

  • Former Division Chief Dr. Vincent Hentz gave a masterclass on upper extremity reconstruction of limbs in people with spinal cord injury at the International Tetrahand Conference at Shepherd Center.

 

Dr. Catherine Curtin tests new microscopes for brachial plexus reconstruction at Stanford

1/1/24

  • Dr. Curtin trials the latest technology at Stanford. This microscope provides 3D imaging and is helpful when looking at complex structures like the brachial plexus.

 

Dr. Paige Fox invited as speaker for the Japanese Peripheral Nerve Society

9/18/23

Dr. Paige Fox was recently an invited speaker for the Japanese Peripheral Nerve Society. During her visit, Dr. Fox also spoke at the University of Kyoto and met with other researchers about peripheral nerve research.

Dr. Curtin attends the 2022 ASPN Annual Meeting in Carlsbad, CA. 

Pictured: Sewing with Masters

Dr. Fox and Dr. Curtin presented on complex nerve patients at Stanford Anesthesia Grand Rounds.

Dr. Curtin presented at ASPS on lower extremity nerve entrapments.

Dr. Fox and Dr. Curtin discussed reconstruction after nerve injury at ASSH. 

Dr. Curtin chairs ASPN Meeting

Congratulations to Dr. Curtin for a successful American Society of Peripheral Nerve meeting. As program chair, Dr. Curtin oversaw this prominent international nerve meeting. 

Dr. Catherine Curtin invited to Iceland

Associate Professor Catherine Curtin was recently invited to Iceland to perform a TMR nerve surgery for pain at the Landspitali Hospital in Reykjavik. She went with colleague Dr. Hagert from Sweden.